Lecturer and Director, Diploma Program
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Lane Hall-Witt is Director of Smith's Diploma in American Studies Program, a one-year program of graduate study for international students. Hal-Witt holds degrees in history from the University of Oregon and Yale University. He has a broad range of interests in nineteenth- and twentieth-century U.S. history: myths and ideals of "America"; "racial" thinking; the U.S. West; social conflicts on the U.S. homefront during times of war; ideas of competition, conflict and cooperation in U.S. thought on economics, politics and national security; theories concerning the institutional organization of "freedom" (capitalist economies, democratic politics and representative governance); abundance and want as themes in U.S. culture and society; and the interpretation of suicide as a symptom that reveals problems in U.S. life.
Hall-Witt also conducted extensive research in philosophy and social theory, with a particular interest in the ways evolutionary theory, game theory and network theory are shaping contemporary approaches to social organization and historical process. His seminar "The Unexceptional U.S.," is a cultural and social analysis of myths associated with the idea of American Exceptionalism.